Family of man fatally shot on I-94 meets with Walz, members of Hennepin Co. Attorney’s office, upsetting police association
A day after Gov. Tim Walz met with the family of the man who was fatally shot by a state trooper on Interstate 94, the state’s largest peace officers association is upset.
Walz met with Ricky Cobb II’s family Wednesday amid the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s ongoing investigation into Cobb’s death.
His family and community members have since called for a transparent and independent investigation into the shooting instead of having one agency within the Minnesota Department of Public Safety investigating another, something a pair of experts say is a clear conflict of interest.
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA), however, is upset that the governor met with Cobb’s family while the investigation is still active, saying that the meeting creates a conflict of interest.
“We all want the integrity of the investigation – as well the perception of the integrity of the investigation and charging decisions – to be fair and to follow the impartial rule of law. While it’s understandable to grieve a death, it’s improper to involve oneself with the integrity and transparency of our legal process,” MPPOA General Counsel Imran Ali said in a statement Thursday. “This private meeting, called ‘important’ by Cobb’s family, with unknown assurances and information, specifically undermines the due process, rule of law, and rights of our law enforcement officers.”
The organization says it also sent a letter to the governor, expressing those concerns, adding that the police association “would be receptive to meeting with your team and you to discuss our concerns.”
Thursday, the MPPOA also released a letter sent to Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty’s office, saying they recently learned members of her office also met with Cobb’s family and calling the meeting “troubling.”
“It is unfortunate, therefore, that these recent, inappropriate meetings compel us to take actions to protect Trooper Londregan’s rights,” the letter states. It goes on to demand that her office preserves all records of meetings and communications with both Cobb’s family and the Governor’s office.
In response to the letter, a spokesperson for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office sent 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS this statement:
As we previously said, we cannot discuss the case further until the BCA has completed their investigation. No PR stunts will change that. The integrity of this process is too important for everyone – the family of Ricky Cobb, the troopers involved, and the broader community. Once the case is submitted to us for review, we will use all the resources available to analyze the evidence and make a decision as quickly as possible.Hennepin County Attorney’s Office
Walz and the BCA have said the BCA’s Force Investigations Unit is an independent unit of the agency and is the best-equipped agency to handle the case.
READ THE LETTER TO THE HENNEPIN COUNTY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE HERE:
READ THE LETTER TO GOV. TIM WALZ HERE: